For Amy Schubert, the road to becoming a hospice nurse at the Vising Nurse Association of Greater St. Louis began 85 miles from the Atlantic Ocean in Wilmington, Delaware.
Born in 1972, Amy’s parents adopted her and the first few years of her life were spent near Philadelphia and then in Buffalo, New York.
Her father was a pastor with a passion for working in inner cities. In 1983, he heard and answered the call to come to St. Louis and serve the congregation at the Walnut Park Church as their new pastor.
Looking back, the move seems providential to Amy.
During high school in St. Louis, she found work as a candy striper at Christian Northeast Hospital.. (For those too young to remember, candy stripers were young students who did volunteer work at hospitals.)
There, Amy saw first-hand the difference nurses can make in peoples' lives.
In addition, the LPN school operated by the St. Louis Board of Education provided Amy with training she could put to immediate use.
And she did. Before turning eighteen, Amy was already on the job as an LPN.
In 1990, she started working weekends at LaClede Groves to care for residents. She also took a second job during the week that enabled her to raise her daughter and go back to school.
She eventually finished school in 2000 with a degree in nursing from the Deaconess College of Nursing. With a degree, she was able to quit her second job to take on a full-time position at BJC. She'd work at BJC and on the weekends at LaClede Groves for the next sixteen years.
When Amy’s daughter, Dominique, was nearing twenty she started to yearn for more contact with patients and at a slower pace. So, with her desire to slow down and her daughter's independence in mind, Amy left LaClede Groves and moved on from BJC to search for a new opportunity.
In her new position, she knew she wanted to serve others compassionately like her father, the pastor.
In 2014, Amy found what she was looking for at the Visiting Nurse Association of Greater St. Louis, and she immediately fell in love with her role as a hospice nurse.
‘’I Iove being there for people, helping them, making sure they know they have a voice…that they are heard.’’
Amy understands well how love, end-of-life and personal loss can become intertwined. In 2015, her sister, Melissa, became a proud mother to a son. Amy and Melissa's father, the pastor, was preparing to baptize the new baby boy, but he died suddenly a few days before the event.
He died at Laclede Groves.
During the tragic passing of her father she comforted the entire family with open arms - the same love she shares freely in her daily work at the Visiting Nurse Association of Greater St. Louis.
Anyone who has ever known Amy isn't surprised by her compassionate acts. After all, she was called to care for others a very long time ago.